This article examines the changes in the pattern of revealed comparative advantage of 14 Asian and Pacific countries from 1965 to 1984. It finds that in the NIEs and the ASEAN 4 countries the pattern changed significantly and that the changes were “beneficial” in the sense that the gains occurred in commodities for which world demand was growing relatively fast. In the cases of the South Asian and the South Pacific countries, however, the changes were not statistically significant and these countries exported goods for which world demand was relatively soft. The study also finds relatively strong evidence consistent with the “flying geese” pattern of development among the countries comprising the East Asian Industrial Belt (namely, Japan, the newly industrialized economies, and the ASEAN-4 countries) suggesting that economic prosperity has trickled down within this group of countries leading to greater interdependence and integration; the South Asian and the South Pacific countries appear to have been left out of this process of shifting comparative advantage.
31 December 1990